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Benjamin: Okay. Today is a special day for the MarTech podcast. Instead of focusing on a single channel of marketing, we're going to do a deep dive into the career of a marketer with a tremendous amount of experience. Joining us for career day is one of, if not the biggest influencers in the MarTech space. Scott Brinker is the VP of platform ecosystems at Hubspot. He's also the founding program chair of the MarTech Conference, and he is the editor of the Chief MarTec blog. Prior to his current roles and responsibilities, Scott previously served as the CEO, CTO, and President of various businesses ranging from professional services to Saas. Scott, as truly the chief of the MarTech community, and we're very excited to have him on the MarTech podcast today. Here is our interview with the Chief himself, Chief MarTech, Scott brinker from hubspot. Scott, welcome to the MarTech podcast.
Scott: Thank you. That was a very kind introduction.
Benjamin: Well, it's an honor to have you here. I was doing my homework in the MarTech space, trying to figure out who are some of the biggest influencers using a tool called group high this week, and the top of the list when I typed in the search term MarTech was Scott brinker, the chief MarTech. So you're our number one target for this blog and we're thrilled to have you here. Awesome. Well, it's great to be here. Great. So I want to walk through your career. This is our career day section. So what we do is we talk about why you got into marketing some of the stops you've had along the way, some of the experiences and how they shaped your career to try to help marketers that are either early, mid career or people that are sort of in your stage think about how to drive their careers. So let's start off from the beginning. Why did you get into marketing?
Scott: Yeah. My path here is a zig zag. I actually wouldn't have said that. I started out trying to get into marketing. I was as a teenager, it was the early game programmers for some of the first online games and so I sort of fell into marketing initially because as a game author I would then turn around and promote these games online. So over that's sort of first formative years of what got me excited. This idea of being able to create experiences that engage people and then find ways to communicate and promote those sorts of experiences to people. I guess I kind of got me hooked at an early age.
Benjamin: So you started off a. You had a technical background, you were making your product in the gaming space and you were basically turning the market to promote your work. Tell me a little bit about the types of games you were producing. Give me the timeline. Set the stage for us.
Scott: Wow Man. This is going back mid to late eighties as one of the first people writing multiplayer online games. So it was back in the days when they had things like America online prodigy and compuserve and stuff like that. So I started out writing games for bulletin board systems at the time, which essentially think of it as the precursor for the interactive web. These was sort of like facebook, like experiences before there was a facebook and that was a fascinating little ecosystem that was very niche like, I don't know, back in the eighties movies like war games or something like that. I got the subculture interested in connect with people online and when that'd be really awesome. So every one in the field kind of knew that hey, this is really interesting. Getting to connect with other people through your computer or to like reach the world. Wow, wouldn't that be cool if everyone could do that? Then of course the Internet exploded, which, uh, had the property that completely eliminated the bulletin board system market of dial up bulletin boards as we know it, but we replaced it with something much bigger, much larger is the web ecosystem we all live in today.
Benjamin: So was this your full time job? Was this a hobby? Tell me about why you were into game production and marketing. Well,
Scott: I was a teenager, so playing games it was fun, but creating games and getting other people to dial in and interact with them, that was even cooler. So yeah, it really started as a labor of love. And then I was working with a bulletin board system company to help promote that game. I eventually went to college studying computer science by actually dropped out of college. My first attempt at it to join that bulletin board system company. I actually became the CEO of that company. Have right at the time that, yeah, the Internet exploded and destroyed the market as we know it. So that was a good experience in disruptive innovation.
Benjamin: Well, there's a lot to unpack there, so you're in high school, you're producing these games, you go to college, you're working for a bulletin board system, you drop out of college and the next thing you know you're the CEO helped me connect the dots of how you ended up being the man in charge when you're in your late teens and early twenties
Scott: these days. Teenagers and kids in their early twenties starting multibillion dollar company is. I wouldn't even hold a candle and today's young entrepreneurial circles, but I'm sure you do just fine. So the way it started out as a fellow who had founded that Bulletin Board System Company, I knew him very early on. He was the guy who encouraged me to pursue writing these games. So as I started to develop not only the ability to create these programs that were selling very well, but I ended up hiring other teenage friends I knew and I was teaching them how to program and you know, we're creating like customer support teams and it was kind of little rascals. Somehow made the interactive game industry. So yeah. Eventually I joined his company and started building out teams for that group and next thing I knew I was CEO.
Benjamin: The funny thing is do you have executive experience while you were still in the nascent years of your career? Right. You're basically in your late teens, early twenties, and your man in charge already, which is probably not an experience that most people have. How do you think having an early leadership experience shaped your future career?
Scott: Well, I certainly made every mistake at the possible to make in the book there and I guess in the big scheme of things, you know, helpful to actually learn from that experience, but I think one of the things I always feel like I've been so privileged to do in my career is to pursue ideas without generally ever feeling constrained by the structure in which I found myself again for certain people, you know, as they're moving up their careers, particularly in larger companies, even if you have a certain idea, being able to move the necessary pieces in place to execute that gets a lot more challenging and it's a whole different skillset that I admire. People who do that as more of an entrepreneurial person who always generally just found myself in those leadership roles. I just feel like one of the things that is very lucky to have was the ability to say, I've got an idea here if something I'd really like to pursue and I could just go ahead and pursue it.
Benjamin: I think that's an interesting comment and early on in my career, probably the beginning of the middle of my career, let's say, not the nascent stages, but I started my first startup and of course I did everything wrong and I invested in the wrong things and the money just disappeared quickly and the startup wasn't very successful, but that has helped me tremendously learning a about business, what not to do and helped me with the business that I'm running now in my consulting practice. I think that there's a lot of wisdom there of starting to be entrepreneurial earlier in your career so you can get the mistakes out of the way when there is low risk and trying small ventures. I truly believe that. That's good advice. Let's move on a little bit farther. You said that you dropped out of college the first attempt and you eventually have gone back to school.
Benjamin: Looks like multiple times. Yeah, I had a chip on my shoulder about that, which I clearly beat into the ground if it makes you feel better. I graduated from Boston University four year school and I went right after high school, sort of the traditional path, but I always wanted to go to cal because I grew up at cal football and basketball fan and I had applied to the school like three times and the third time I finally got into the MBA program and it just wasn't the right time for me to actually accept and so I've always had the educational chip on my shoulder and for me getting over that was just getting accepted, not actually going to the school.
Scott: Yeah, it's definitely a more economical solution than the one I chose, but yes. So
Benjamin: after your experience working in gaming, did you go right back to school or did you have other jobs?
Scott: I hadn't become the CEO of that Unum Board System Company. And then, yeah, unfortunately it was really right at the time that the Internet was taking off and it really did thoroughly disrupted the bbs world between no, it had some interesting experience with us there with the later stage m and a activity around selling that business to a group that would try and pivot it and then basically, yeah, because the wind was so hot, I was actually fascinated by this entire movement that again, this thing that had been very nichey about dial up online services now every bit this was connecting this way, so it was bulletin board systems for really very sophisticated in the software and the actions that they could do online. When the web first appeared, it wasn't very sophisticated at all. Most websites were just. He might have remembered the term brochure where and was, you know, okay, here's a nice page. It's a nice image. You can't do anything. So when I left the bloomboard market to embrace the new web, I thought, hey, this is a really great opportunity for us to take our experience of how to make interactive services that were available in the bbs world. How do we start to bring that functionality to these websites? So in the mid nineties launched a consulting service based around just that.
Benjamin: And that's the cyber ops inc.
Scott: Yes. And You could tell I was still in my mid twenties because the name cyber ops sounded cool.
Benjamin: I don't know if it necessArily that you were in your mid twenties or that it was the mid nineties and it sounds very much like something out of terminator two.
Scott: Exactly. And the confluence of those two things, what's the perfect storm of bad naming
Benjamin: now? It would be cyber.io or something. We're just going with the buzzword of the time
Scott: and then he ended up actually mergIng with a digital agency called together. We formed ion interactive, which was a very late nineties interactive agency sounding name and that then actually became the work I did for good seven year stretch there have essentially a web development agency that we would work for clients such as citrix and siemens and really help them build out these fairly sophisticated web properties. So that was the seed for all this chief marketing technologist, MarTech industry stuff that I do today is because as this boutique agency, we get hired by the marketing team at these large companies to build out there web dreams. But since I was running the tech organization, I was the guy who actually handed them, volunteered to go down the hall and talk to that company's it department because the marketing department, the it department just couldn't actually talk to each other and they just didn't even have the same language or like different incentive structures.
Scott: And so it was fascinating for me doing this shuttled diplomacy between marketing teams and it teams. And there were two things that just in my head, one was least folks are coming from opposite ends of the spectrum. And the second was, my goodness, if you looked at what the company actually wanted to do was so clear, these two teams are going to actually get married at the hip moving forward. So Imagining how the profession of marketing and auntie might start to intersect and collaborate on. There's kind of in that early 2000. So I just became fascinated by that.
Benjamin: That's interesting. I want to ask you a little bit about the mindset of marketers at that time. To me, there's been a landscape shift for marketers moving from being creative driven, more artists to being data driven and very technology centric. Tell me a little bit about what the marketing team's goals were, what their mindset was, and I'm specifically looking for how it has shifted over time to what a good marketer does now.
Scott: I think what are the challenges for marketing today is I feel like all these new requirements of things that are great marketing team needs to be able to handle the analytics, the marketing technology infrastructure, or how do you actually run the operational facets of marketing all these skills and talents that are required. They aren't a replacement for all the skills and talents and responsibilities that marketers had before. we still have all the responsibilities for like, okay, understanding the market, understanding the customers, how do we communicate with them? How do we work on the research of understanding our product and service and how it gets package and price actually is still essential to being successful in this and I think it's really hard to find any one individual who is just somehow the unicorn master of all these domains within marketing, so the real challenge has become, I think for marketing departments and marketing leaders is just a lot more responsibility for creating multidisciplinary teams. Having a marketing technology person on your team who's able to collaborate very effectively with a chief creative officer are basically, you know, the lead that where it says someone else on the team who might be managing the responsibility from almost like a project management perspective of the demand funnel and how that integrates between marketing ops and sales ops. I mean getting all these pieces working together. I mean 15 years ago I did not see that level of multidisciplinary collaboration. What a marketing team needed to do to be successful.
Benjamin: I totally hear you honestly. It's one of the stressors or challenges that I see most marketers struggle with, which is how do I become an expert in all of these different facets because I need to understand the technology piece. I need to understand the quantitative piece. I need to understand the qualitative piece. I need to manage larger staffs. It used to be marketing sat next to sales and those were drinking buddies and it was about creative and what do the ads look like and where are we buying media. Very little about it was actually gauging what the performance of the ad was and I'm thinking mad men billboard style advertising and now it is the marketer sits next to the ceo and the cto and understands the business performance and as doing revenue optimization and it's just a much more complex game
Scott: and isn't much more complex. The heroes of marketing from the last century were people who really did have a gift for capturing the spirit of what a brand, what the company was in a position to offer customers and find really compelling ways to express that. Usually with all the constraints of mass media and no testing and optimization, all that, but I think if there's one thing I would say as a fan of marketing technology and analytics, there were definitely times when I feel like the pendulum has swung too far where the emphasis on developing these new muscles with technology and operations in some cases has atrophied some of the talent around the big idea, the big creative thinking. Finding that swEet spot of how do you get a differentiated compelling message out there in such a noisy, noisy world.
Benjamin: It's funny. I do want to get back into talking about your career path, but that's one of the things that I've seen a million times working with early stage and growth stage companies is that in my consulting practice essentially break my services into two components. One is brand development, figuring out who your customers are, what you want to say to them, what are their needs. Basically doing the foundational part of traditional marketing, product placement, pricing, promotion, those types of things. And then the second component is the marketing strategy, which is where people looking. What are the tools we need, how do we validate that a channel works and most of the time what I tell people that they say, I don't need the first one. We don't need to put in the legwork to figure out what the messages, let's just go put some stuff out there and figure out what channels they are and it's like it's not necessarily a chicken or the egg. Do you have to have that solid foundation first to be able to execute an effective marketing strategy and I feel like a lot of companies just focus on what I would call more growth strategy than traditional marketing and I think that that's definitely a trend that I see where people are like, growth, growth, growth, growth, growth. We don't wAnt to focus on marketing. We just want to grow. And it's like, well, you need to market yourself to grow.
Benjamin: Sorry, I'm going off on a personal diatribe. Let's get back into talking about your career. Tell me a little bit about your experience in running a professional services business. You were doing consulting, you worked at an agency. What are some of the skills that you developed in working on that type of business?
Scott: That was an interesting experience and it sort of leads up to why I decided to transition out of that, which is the parts of it that I really love was this process of going to the client and really trying to understand what it was they needed to succeed and I phrased that very carefully because it isn't always what they were asking for. I mean almost all of these. I'd be like some sort of said, okay, we need abc xyz and that's fine. I think on the surface, let's put that on the table, but I've found that if you can dig a little bit deeper and just really try and understand, okay, well why? What is it that you're looking to get out of that and to just take a moment to step back and see maybe we do abc xyz, but maybe there's m and l o p q that are actually things that they hadn't thought of.
Scott: Not going to be really essential to make this work. Taking the time to step back and strategize what needed to be built, rather than just rushing in and saying, okay, well you're going to pay me an hourly fee to build abc. So here's abc. Good luck with that. That was a part of it. I love most. The part of it I found frustrating sometimes was not every client wanted to take the time to think about mnl. Okay. Uh, you know, I was like, listen, we just want to say we'll pay you for abc, build abc, and we do that. so it was interesting, man. There were so many of those were at the end of the day, we build exactly what they wanted and didn't give them the results they want. Or six months later they changed their mind and say, here actually we realized we don't want to add. It's interesting if you're purely in that game to make an hourly wage, you all those clients, right? Because they're basically build this, build that, build this thing, but if you're in that business because you really want to find some sort of way to like change the outcomes for these businesses. And then I found like the cases where I was unable to have that higher level discussion, it just wasn't very fulfilling.
Benjamin: I understand the benefits and the detractors from running a professional services business as somebody who works in one right now. I totally understand what you're saying. Eventually you moved away from professional services. Tell me what was next for you.
Scott: So we essentially reinvented on from being an agency to being a fat bitch. I know many agencies have thought about doing and many have tried and not succeeded. And to be honest, wow. If I knew then what I know, I'm not sure we would have liked just rush into that. That was a much harder transformation to make. I think we anticipated, but the genesis of it, we'd started to see these patterns across many of our clients where they were having the same recurring challenge and having a bit of a product oriented background from early on, I got really excited about the opportunity to find a product solution that instead of helping a dozen clients, I'd be in a position to solve this problem for hundreds or thousands of businesses. So that's how we transitioned ion into a essentially a second generation of the company that was an interactive content sas platform.
Benjamin: So you basically recognize that your customers and your professional service businesses were having very similar problems and worked to produce in interactive content product. Tell me what you mean by interactive content.
Scott: So content marketing now has been on rise for 10 years, but most of those contents a passive. It's things like, you know, everything from blog posts to podcasts. Right? So the audIences there, they're getting something out of it but they're not actively participating. Versus interactive content becomes things like, to me it's simple quiz. It can be more sophisticated like assessment tools, interactive calculators, solution binders, these things where you actually get the audience engaging in some sort of activity and use that as a mechanism for generating value, either prevent individual or aggregating to an entire community.
Benjamin: So who are your customers when you were working on the sas portion of this business and how are they different than who your professional services customers? Where was there a shift in the people you were reaching?
Scott: We started with the audience. We knew so are botique web development agency had mostly the large enterprise b to b companies, someone we built our first generation of being interactive content platform that tended to be the customers who we were selling it to, so became sometimes the companies that adopted it where like say dell or the payroll company like adp, and then as it started to grow we had some really interesting consumer oriented companies that started to leverage that. Like general mills ended up adopting the platform for some very cool interactive campaigns, american greetings, so it's a very enterprisey oriented san solution.
Benjamin: Was general mills using the calorie counter widget or it was a different type of campaign? That's exactly the sort of thing.
Scott: They had this great box tops coupon thing, so they manage that whole interactive content system.
Benjamin: My sister who's a third grade teacher still collects the top of cereal boxes, so we save all of them. For her, it's great marketing. It's a great way to build an extra impression by keeping the top of the box around to remind you that the product has value. Okay, so you worked at ion, you pivoted away from a professional services to a sas business and you mentioned that that was a difficult transition. Tell me about why that was a struggle.
Scott: A professional service business is everything gets tailored to individual clients and very much about looking at an individual client and how can you best served their particular needs and even if you have some underlying process or you have some underlying infrastructure for this, the entire sales and service motion tends to just naturally become a little bit more bespoke for each client versus when you're really trying to productize things. It's looking for that common intersection lives valuable to a large number of customers, but it also means occasionally having an individual customer as a very specific request. That's not going to be shared by anyone else and having to say, no, we can't do that for you. it's a very different muscle. It's a different way of thinking about the sales motion and the customer service function.
Benjamin: That makes a ton of sense. It's a different skill set and I'm guessing that there was probably some organizational challenges. Thinking about the mindset of building a product to serve a select number of people with a specific problem as opposed to trying to find a way to solve one customer's problem no matter what it was.
Scott: Yes, and this is where I think we just got incredibly lucky that the individuals who were an ion for this transformation or just very agile people and adapting through this, we did not have to meet staff changes or things like that. As I've seen other agencies try and go through that transformation, that was much harder and I'm grateful. Somehow we were able to not have it be that painful.
Benjamin: So you worked on the ion business for what it looks like, 19 years. That's an incredible amount of your career and you've pivoted from starting off in a professional services focused business, repositioning the company to be focused on sas. Being at a company for 19 years, you were obviously a cofounder, you were the cto. How do you stay focused on the same role for that long, the period of time?
Scott: Well, I do think there were two generations, so the professional service will be on wednesday. About hey and then restarting down the road. Was it very different kind of experience and. Yeah, that took 10 years. My co founders and in talerico amazing people. They were actually, they still are married to each other. We started the business in south Florida, but then I later moved up to New York and eventually up to boston, so we had this married couple and we had co founders that we're spread in different states, so I'm getting to the point that there was basically no way we were getting institutional venture capital to fund this business, so we grew I on organically and growing that to be a eight figure business that was profitable from the start because it had to be. That was a decade long journey and man every single year that had new is everything from how do you scale up the actual organization itself to let's face it, when you're working in digital marketing technology, you've got a moving target like what is considered state of the art last year is completely changed like two years later. So it was never dull in that experience of building that up.
Benjamin: So it's interesting that a large portion of your career was really focused on building a technology driven but a lifestyle brand, right? Not something that's venture capital backed something where it's, you know, dollar in dollar out and the founders of the company are running their business and you've since transition into working for a gigantic in terms of not only impact but rounds of funding and the scope of the company, venture capital backed company. Tell me a little bit about the transition going from working at ion to being at hubspot.
Scott: Yeah, but I will push back on the lifestyle thing a bit because I think it's interesting. They were on one end of the spectrum companies that get launched in tech that are funded by venture capital and they understand that model and they're definitely on the other end of the spectrum, there are plenty of lifestyle businesses where the boundaries are like, okay, let's find a way to balance what we're doing in a way that doesn't have to be a $5,000,000,000 company, but we can enjoy what we're doing and we can bring value to our customers. I think that's a really interesting set of companies today that exists between those two poles and these are companies that are driven to grow real businesses. they're not intended to be just a playground of the founders. They're intended to actually operate their business the same Way you would any sort of venture funded business, but they're doing it organically and frankly all of us technology that's come in with infrastructure as a service from amazon and google and all this digital marketing technologies that we can leverage, find and reach and engage audiences. It's actually enabled this whole generation of entrepreneurs to bring things to market. It's real businesses, but they're not venture funded.
Benjamin: I'm going to reference the sponsor of this podcast knit, which is the podcast advertising platform. They are founded by two guys. What's a distributed team that live in two different parts of the country and they are putting their own money, sweat and tears into building this platform to make it easier for anyone to use podcast advertising, and this actually isn't an ad read or anything like that. I just bring it up as the best example of the type of business that you're talking about where this is a business and a platform built to scale, but founded by two people. I'm not actually a team of 400 people that are looking to scale and become a billion dollar business. I'm sure they'd love to be a billion dollar business and I believe that that's possible. The podcast, you know, the dynamic insertion place, but yeah, I hear you in terms of this new class of business that you can bootstrap a company, get it up and running and scale it now without major investment, which is a shift in terms of why and how people are creating their own businesses.
Scott: Yeah, it's fascinating. One of the things in that very expansive MarTech landscape graphic I assemble every year, it's one of the reasons that landscape is so large is because there are so many organic companies entering in that space too. So to answer your question though, that was shifting over to hubspot. It's definitely a shift. Although one of the things that make spot hubspot, they've worked really hard to retain this entrepreneurial culture where it's a very distributed leadership kind of company. It's not like a super hierarchical top down. The ceo says this this way and shuffles down, you know, in a hierarchical levels. It's actually something where people really at the lowest levels of the organization are empowered to find opportunities and I'm with them, which is an amazing energy. It's also, I will confess on the other side, it's challenging to keep up with all the things that are going on at the same time, but I've actually found the spirit of working at this company very similar to the cultural experience of running my own startup.
Scott: So talk to me about what you're doing at hubspot. You're the vp of platform ecosystems. What does that mean? So let me step back. In this process of building ion as a sas company, I am parallel and started a blog on the intersection of marketing and technology, chiefMarTech.com. Really championing this idea of these hybrid marketing technologists. People operating at the intersection of these two fields and that started just pure labor of love is many blogs are and podcasts. Yes. Well you know, and it's the best way for these things to begin I think, but about four or so years into that, it really took off. I ended up with tens of thousands of readers and we started things like that. Warren tech landscape where we're tracking the industry eventually launched the MarTech conference in 2014. So part of what happened there was this realization of what the biggest challenges were in the field of marketing technology and a lot of them are organizational.
Scott: A lot of them are about cultural changes, management changes. But if there was one technology challenge that everyone seemed to have, it was, oh my goodness, there's this explosion of these hundreds now, thousands of different marketing technologies. How do you as a non phd and system architecture like how do you as a regular market or pulling things together to create an effective marketing stack. And that is a challenge that I've been frankly obsessed with for the past five years because it's a really interesting market, right? I mean you think about like normally when we see explosions of technologies, they all happen around a platform, right? Like your iphone and there are millions of apps for your iphone, but everyone started with the iphone and so all the apps are designed around. Then they plug it in nice and neat and you're good to go. And marketing there weren't central platform so these things sort of each grew up on their own and then independently everyone's trying to figure out how do we connect them together.
Scott: So I'm a big believer that the largest marketing technology companies, companies like salesforce, adobe, oracle, hubspot here from the smb side, have an opportunity to try and bring some slapped form structure to that market so that if a marketer say buys hubspot and then there are other things they want to add into hubspot, they can just like click a button and pick it and it installs and it just works. And they don't have to hire someone in it to figure out how to connect this api to api. Just make that as seamless as possible. So being a champion of that vision of where I industry can go. when hubspot approached me and invited me to help do that for them, it was kind of those you had me at hello, I thought you'd never ask.
Benjamin: So essentially your role is working on the platform that allows marketers to plug and play various marketing services using hubspot's infrastructure?
Scott: Yes, and my particular role, there were basically two of us that are leading this transformation and hubspot. I have a counterpart in the product organization, Nancy Riley, who's amazing, so she's and her team are the ones actually changing the way the product is architected to better support an ecosystem of third party developers and then my role is more on the business side of the programs we use to be able to bring these partners into our ecosystem, how we help them be successful, giving them marketing channels, how we help market that to our customers at large.
Benjamin: I have a question about hubspot, and I know this isn't specific to your career, but more just because I have a million tools and I'm sitting here thinking about the stack I've put together to manage the content for my podcast and to do business development for my consulting services and manage my clients where I'm using asana for project management and pipe drive for a crm and air table for content management. Is the infrastructure that hubspot's putting together a single place where I can weave all of those tools together or are they all hubspot owned and managed services?
Scott: That is exactly the vision here is as a platform to be that central source of the data and to a very real degree alSo a certain amount of the work flow around that. So homespot spot has its own applications for marketing. We have a sales application and we launched a customer service application, but the idea of being a platform is to be open to any other technology that you'd want to connect to this. So like we don't have a project management solution, so being able to integrate with a sauna or if you're using quickbooks for like accounting won't be great to just be able to connect quickbooks so that this data is shared and your crm is synchronized with the information of billing you might be doing here clients real realtime dollars per lead. Yes, exactly. And so one of the things about being open though as a platform is to say, listen, so we have a customer service module and people buy that, but if someone says, hey, actually I prefer to use zen desk
Benjamin: or some other customer service solution.
Scott: The idea of being an open platform is just say, hey listen, that's great. We'll plug in zen desk. You know, we're able to share data back and forth seamlessly with them to that. We're trying to make it as easy as possible for you to have your stack of tools, not just your marketing's dang for real. Your small business stack just work together better without you having to be an ip wizard to make that happen.
Benjamin: Yeah. It's honestly one of the most dizzying challenges that I've faced running my business is trying to remember which tool I put what data into and then getting the data out to analyze your business performance and now you're consolidating multiple different data sources and next thing you know you're in spreadsheet hell and you should just like, okay, lick my finger, put it in the air and decide which way the wind is going and let's go work on that project instead.
Scott: Yep. It iS a hard problem, but it's one that again, I feel like this is something that the software world can solve. We can make this better and over the next several years I think it will get a lot better with hubspot, but also with other products. I mean almost everyone, major company I know in this space is investing very heavily in creating a better platform ecosystem and better platform experience for their customers to solve that exact problem.
Benjamin: So one of the ask you, we've talked a little bit about moving from professional services and founding your own company to working for a large enterprise, but along the way you were also developing not only your own personal brand assets but also working on the MarTech conference and really positioning the space that you work in as an industry. I'm interested to hear about the MarTech conference, the genesis of that, how you got involved and what was the rationale for that.
Scott: So it started out this podcast calling me one of the influencers of the MarTech space. You're the chiefs. It's funny to me because I feel like a very accidental influencer. I definitely did not start down this path with like, okay, here's my vision. I'm going to have the personal brand and being the guy behind marketing technology, ms dot really all grew out of just my own kind of obsession and fascination by these two career paths when I was in high school. Right. Like if you went to the guidance counselor for like what career would you like to pursue? You know, there was the it technology stuff on one end of the spectruM, but like marketing and sales on the complete opposite end of the spectrum and it's like the mind kind of real well wait a second, you would meld these things together. So it's like that changed that the digitalization of the world and brought about just really fascinated me and the fact that ended up connecting with other people who started to feel that affinity for the intersection of these disciplines and I thInk in many ways just accidentally became a focal point for a new community that emerging.
Scott: So the MarTech conference got started in 2014 because the folks at third door media or the producers of that event, I hadn't seen it. This community started to merge ramp my blog. We decided to work together on launching that where they brought their incredible just experience with putting on really good events. They took all the leadership on the logistics, the operations, the sponsorship side. Um, my role with that has been to purely focus on, okay, the actual content and the ways in which we engage the audience around that. And man, I just feel so incredibly grateful for that collaboration because again, I kind of feel like all I've done is indulge my interest in topics and people around this field and for them to have structured a conscience that allows us to do that at some scale. It's just been thrilling.
Benjamin: So I'd love to hear with our last few minutes. We've talked basically from the beginning of your career, the high school days, starting your own company, professional services, running a sas business, working for an enterprise, running a blog, starting a conference, basically branding and industry. When you look back on the entire experience and where you sit today and where the MarTech industry sits today, what are some of the things that get you excited? What are the ways that you would suggest other people get involved in the industry?
Scott: I'm more excited now about this industry than I ever have been because the community that's been in MarTech to date in my mind has been sort of the classic early adopters, the people professionally that one to push the envelope and jump into this. The companies who embrace this tended to be a little bit more early adopter in their mentality and that's great. I mean there's an experience of, you know, how early adopters come together and bring something to life. That's been a thrill to work on, to now see so many mainstream businesses starting to make this shift where like, okay, marketing operations isn't just some sort of random little thing in the corner. This now becomes one of the fundamental pillars of how we run an effective business, how we run an effective marketing organization and people starting to think about, okay, how do we professionalize marketing technologists? How do we help more people to come into these career paths at scale? I think we're going to feel like an order of magnitude, maybe two orders of magnitude of the expansion of this marketing technology and ops professional over the next five years or so, and that to me, just incredible. This might actually be a really major transformation and marketing. Get ahead.
Benjamin: Boy, I hope so. As the creator of the MarTech podcast, I obviously invested in the space and intrigued by what's happening in this as a developing industry and also as someone who's relatively new and to sort of positioning their career to be focused on MarTech having you here as somebody who not only helped develop the industry but also work to brand it and sort of bring it to light. I just want to say thank you. The work that you've done is foundational to the career that I'm building and I'm excited to be able to talk to other MarTech enthusiasts and people that are building their career about what they're doing, but you were basically in the space from the early days, so I personally appreciate all the work you've done to raise the profile of the MarTech industry and show companies how valuable it is.
Scott: Well, thank you for all you're doing this. There is so much need for education in this space. I just was reading a survey from the folks at econsultancy were something like 66 percent of the marketing leaders they talk to basically felt they did not have the skills or talent in their organizations and use marketing technology effectively. So to me that's the challenge. That's the huge gap of business moves to really being beyond the early adopters into the mainstream podcasts and conferences and blog posts and getting people together any way we can. Yeah. How do we help this industry grow and learn together? So I wish you the absolute best of success.
Benjamin: Well, I appreciate it and hopefully the other people that are listening to this podcast get as much out of the conversation then as out of your work as I have. So I think that's a great place for us to wrap up this episode of the MarTech podcast. Thanks to
Benjamin: the chief MarTech himself, scott brinker from hubspot for joining us. If you'd like to learn more about scott, you can click on the link in our show notes or visit chiefMarTech.com, which is c h I e s m a r t c no, h t c.com. A special thanks to knit for sponsoring this podcast. If you're interested in using podcast advertising to grow your reach or find a new audience, click the link in. Our show notes are going to MarTech pod.com/nit k n I t to book your complimentary strategy session with me. If you didn't have time to take notes while you were listening to this podcast, don't worry. We have a summary and a full transcript of the episode on our website, which you can find through the link in our show notes or by going to our website, MarTech pod.com. M a r t e c h pod.com.
Benjamin: If you're a subscriber to the MarTech podcast. Thank you for being a member of our community. If you have MarTech, questions, comments about the show. If you're interested in being a guest on the MarTech podcast, click the link in our show notes, or you can also reach out to us via linkedin or twitter by searching for my handle, which has been j dot shap, b e nj a s, h a p. If you haven't subscribed yet and you want a weekly stream of marketing and technology knowledge and your podcast feed, we've got a bunch of great episodes lined up for the next few weeks, so hit the subscribe button in your podcast app and we'll be back in your feed next week. Okay, that's it for today, but until next time, my advice is to just focus on keeping your customers happy.